This Netflix movie just soared into the top 10 — and audiences are tearing it apart

Kardo Razzazi as Dabir, Felicia Maxime as Mica in "The Abyss"
(Image credit: Netflix)

We do a pretty good job of keeping up with what's new on Netflix here at Tom's Guide. But there's a movie that dropped last week surging into the top 10 that we did not see becoming a hit.

"The Abyss" is a Swedish-language disaster movie based on the true story of a town sinking due to a massive mine. The film debuted in Sweden back in September 2023  (as "Avgrunden") but now it's available to watch on Netflix and apparently, a lot of people are hitting play.

So should you join the fray and start streaming "The Abyss"? Or should you skip this movie that, to be honest, you might not have even heard about before reading this? Let's dive into what this movie is about and whether you should stream or skip it based on reviews from critics and audiences.

What is 'The Abyss' about?  

"The Abyss" takes place in the Swedish town of Kiruna, home to the Kirunavaara mine. This mine is the world's largest underground iron ore mine and it's so massive that it's causing regular seismic activity.

These constant tremors are nothing unusual for Frigga (Tuva Novotny), the Kirunavaara's head of security. But one day the tremors hit another level and a cave-in causes her son Simon (Edvin Ryding) to disappear into the mine. Frigga must delve deep into the mine to find her son and the true horror of the fate awaiting Kiruna.

As I mentioned before, this disaster movie is based on a true story. Kiruna is a real town and is really home to the Kirunavaara mine. And the mine is massive to the point where in real life, they are actually moving the town two miles away due to parts of the town collapsing into the mine. Thankfully though, in real life, people aren't just disappearing into the mine.

So with a thrilling premise based on real events, "The Abyss" seems intriguing. Let's see what critics and audiences have to say.

'The Abyss' reviews — what do critics and audiences say 

Unfortunately, the reviews for this disaster movie are ... well, they're disastrous.

The critical reviews on Rotten Tomatoes actually aren't terrible, though there are only four at the moment. Two of the critics, John O'Brien of Inverse and John Serba of Decider, seem to appreciate what the movie attempts to do and suggest that fans of the disaster movie genre will enjoy giving "The Abyss" a shot.

But Roger Moore of Movie Nation and Lori Meek of Ready Steady Cut are less positive in their reviews. Moore says the movie is simply too predictable and while Meek ultimately gave the movie a "fresh rating" they agree that the movie is highly predictable. Both reviews give the movie a score equivalent to a 5 out of 10 and Meek even goes as far as to call it a "snooze fest."

Audiences are even less kind, with the film scoring just a 22% "fresh" audience score. Some who watched and reviewed the movie seemed intrigued by the premise and the movie's beginning, but even they threw around words like "terrible," "suck" and "WTF."

The lone review effusive with praise was from Steve S, who said "It has a good story, believable characters and decent action. The special effects make the entire plot plausible. I was on the edge of my seat at times and, overall, was rooting for the main characters to come through the disaster."

Should you stream 'The Abyss' on Netflix?

While I'm genuinely happy that Steve S enjoyed the movie, it seems the consensus is that you should skip "The Abyss" despite its newfound surge in popularity. While it appears to be technically well made, it comes off as a very predictable, typical disaster movie despite a truly interesting premise. 

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Malcolm McMillan
Senior Streaming Writer

Malcolm McMillan is a senior writer for Tom's Guide, covering all the latest in streaming TV shows and movies. That means news, analysis, recommendations, reviews and more for just about anything you can watch, including sports! If it can be seen on a screen, he can write about it. Previously, Malcolm had been a staff writer for Tom's Guide for over a year, with a focus on artificial intelligence (AI), A/V tech and VR headsets.

Before writing for Tom's Guide, Malcolm worked as a fantasy football analyst writing for several sites and also had a brief stint working for Microsoft selling laptops, Xbox products and even the ill-fated Windows phone. He is passionate about video games and sports, though both cause him to yell at the TV frequently. He proudly sports many tattoos, including an Arsenal tattoo, in honor of the team that causes him to yell at the TV the most.